A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Cerinthians

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CERINTHIANS, a denomination which arose in the first century; so called from Cerinthus, who taught that the creator of the world, whom he considered also as the sovereign of the Jews, was a being endowed with the greatest virtues, and derived his birth from the supreme God-that this being fell by degrees from his primitive dignity-that he supreme God, in consequence, determined to destroy his empire, and sent for this purpose one of the glorious aions, whose name was Christ-that Christ chose for his habitation the person of Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary; and descending in the form of a dove, entered into him while he was receiving the baptism of John-that Jesus, after his union with Christ, opposed himself to the god of the Jews, and was by his instigation seized and crucified-that when Jesus was taken captive, Christ ascended up on high, so that the man Jesus alone was subject to the pains of an ignominious death.

Cerinthus required of his followers, that they should worship the supreme God, in conjunction with the Son; that they should abandon the God of the ?Jews, who he looked upon as the creator of the world; that they should retain a part of the law given by Moses, but employ their principal attention and care to regulate their lives by the precepts of Christ. To encourage them to this, he promised them the resurrection of this mortal body, after which was to commence a scene of the most exquisite delights, during Christ's earthly right of a thousand years, which was to be succeeded by a happy and never-ending life in the celestial world.[1] See Gnostics.

Original footnotes[edit]

  1. Mosheim, vol. i. p. 117, 118.